life on pine

exploring cusco, the capital of the incan empire

Kate ParrishComment

a rough guide on how to tackle cusco

if you are traveling to the sacred valley or machu picchu, you will inevitably spend a few nights in cusco. and the good thing is, we really liked this town – yes, it's full of tourists. but there is a powerful energy of excitement and you can feel it as you walk through the cozy cobble stoned streets. we ate delicious food, tried many pisco sours, explored the markets and back streets [which almost made it feel semi-european], and loved our cozy little airbnb.

we had 5 days here, and i think any less would be rushing it. of course more time is always better, but 5 days did feel like enough to really experience the region. if we'd had more time i would have loved to see rainbow mountain  – this excursion requires waking up around 3am, though, so you'll want to have another buffer day.

DAY 1: land in cusco [from lima] in the afternoon – check into your lodging and spend the evening exploring
DAY 2: explore the sacred valley [day trip] read more about this HERE
DAY 3: explore cusco
DAY 4: leave for macchu picchu [overnight, sleep in aguas calientes
DAY 5: travel back to cusco for the night

where to eat and drink in cusco, peru 

cusco is actually full of really delicious restaurants and bars for any price range. because of the amount of people in the city though, it is best to make reservations [at least for dinner] to avoid having to wait for a table. here are some of our favorites:

BARRIO CEVICHE [thanks for the rec, michelle!]: recommended for lunch – arrive when they open to get your pick of tables. some of the tastiest fish and rosé you can get, and right on the square. 
MORENA owned by the same people as barrio ceviche, this peruvian restaurant was our favorite place we had dinner. great decor, amazing food, a pisco sour cart!, excellent service. this is a must. 
CICCIOLINA you'll 100% need a reservation here, they get crazy packed [and for good reason, their food is delicious – we ate here twice]. the squid ink pasta was a highlight for me. 
LA BODEGA 138 after a long day exploring the sacred valley, we wanted a casual and easy dinner. this spot has great salads, good beer and amazing pizzas [which also made tasty left overs]. 
NUEVO MUNDO BAR craft beer in peru is surprisingly awesome – this is a cool bar on the square to grab a drink


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